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Horizontal Design - Overview

The Horizontal Design options enable you to design horizontal track alignments, and
perform slew analysis on the new design.

Create or Modify Track

Horizontal Track Design

Slew Analysis

See Also:

Create or Modify Track

Horizontal Alignment

Horizontal Track Design

Slew Analysis

Track Design - Overview

Create or Modify Track

This option allows you to establish a coherent horizontal alignment and to add other new
tracks.

If you are creating a new model or track you must give a track description and track
model reference.

Full Horizontal Alignment Design gives you access to the full range of horizontal design
options. Additionally checking Alignment Tools will permit the display of additional
alignments (for parallel design), alignment HALGN/VALGN file generation and the use
of other management tools.

Preliminary Route Location gives you access to the Quick Alignment method of
horizontal design.

If your track model contains any existing alignments, then the Alignment Display panel
appears allowing you to choose which alignments are displayed.

Otherwise the Horizontal Design panel appears allowing you to choose a design method
and background colour, and to select the display and design parameters.
You can use the Create Centre LIne Low Rail option in Survey Analysis to create a
centre line from the existing rails. This can then be used for selecting points when
constructing a new centre line alignment using fixed or floating methods.

When a track is created, the default method of application (ie, maintain plan distance
or maintain slope distance between the rails) is set according to a value stored in the file
mxrail defaults.ini in your project folder. Ensure that this setting is correct before creating
the track.

See Also:

Horizontal Alignment

Horizontal Track Design

Slew Analysis

Track Design - Overview

Horizontal Track Design

This option allows you to chose a design method and select the display and design
parameters.

MXRAIL gives you the full flexibility of the three MX design methods:

• Intersection Point (IP)


• Element
• Spline.

Generally you will find that the element method gives your more control over the
positioning of your track, particularly where you are attempting to meet clearance
requirements.

Under the design parameters, you can select the required transition type and any
transition rules to be applied. When applying transitions to your track, you have full
control of the transition geometry, with a variety of ways to define the required transition.
MXRAIL allows you to use all of the following forms of transition or alternatively select
NoTrans for No transition:

• Clothoid spirals are a smooth form of transition that minimises the effect of jerk
on railway vehicles.
• Bloss Curves
• Cubic Parabolae
• Biquadratic parabolae are used in some countries for high speed railway design
• Sine curves are use extensively for railway design.

Slew Analysis

This option allows you to analyse slew at any time during the design process. When re-
aligning existing tracks, the main concern is often to minimise the amount of slew
required to achieve the new design, or to limit the slew at a particular location.

Having produced a horizontal track alignment, you can use the Slew Analysis option to
compare this alignment with an existing surveyed track to determine the slew. MXRAIL
can display these slews graphically as a slew diagram, or can output the slew values to a
text file.

In the slew diagram, the amount of slew between the new horizontal track alignment and
the existing surveyed track is shown on the Z coordinate of the tooltip. This can be
displayed by placing the cursor over the required location on the slew diagram.

The maximum acceptable offset is used to display two lines either side of the existing rail
which define the maximum slew corridor. If any of the slew trace falls outside this
corridor, then the maximum acceptable offset has been exceeded at that point.

If required, you can display a macrosymbol at all points on the slew trace which lie
outside of the maximum acceptable offset.

You may have several slew traces on the drawing. You can erase previous slew traces for
the same track from the drawing; alternatively, you may wish to compare slew traces
following any design changes you make.

Ensure that the Offset to Rail direction is set appropriately, ie, if you have selected
an existing left hand rail, then the left direction should be set. Use the preview to help
you with this if required.

Slews can be calculated at surveyed points by reversing how the strings are selected.
On the Details tab, select the survey model and centre line master string as the track
details and then select a designed rail string as the survey line. This will then give slew
analysis at the surveyed locations.

There are two ways of formatting the calculated slew as follows:

Positive slew move rail to right, negative slew move rail to left.

When you select this option, the slew will be positive when the designed track is to the
left of the existing track, and negative when the designed track is to the right of the
existing track.
Positive slew move rail away from the centre, negative slew move the rail towards the
centre.

When you are analysing the existing left hand rail, the slew will be positive when your
designed track is to the right of the existing track, and negative when your designed track
is to the left of the existing track.

When you are analysing the existing right hand rail, the slew will be positive when your
designed track is to the left of the existing track, and negative when your designed track
is to the right of the existing track.

Horizontal Alignment

This option allows you to incorporate horizontal elements of the existing track (which
were defined in the regression analysis) into the design by overlaying your track on top of
them. MXRAIL allows you to select points on these lines when fixing your alignment.
This enables you to tie new tracks precisely into the existing alignment.

MXRAIL designs the horizontal track alignment by defining the centre line. When you
select End Alignment to complete your track alignment, MXRAIL automatically creates
the alignments for the rails from this centre line by applying the default gauge.

If you have already designed a Switch and Crossing assembly to tie your track into, then
this can be done using MXRAIL. MXRAIL allows you to use the centre line of a Switch
and Crossing assembly in the plan design of a track. This enables you to run your
horizontal alignment smoothly into a previously designed Switch and Crossing assembly.
Do not worry if you cannot achieve a smooth tie-in first time. Because MXRAIL can
generate Switch and Crossing designs quickly and easily, you may find it more efficient
to modify a previously designed Switch and Crossing assembly to tie in to your
alignment.

When designing a horizontal alignment, you may need to check the clearance to a
structure in order to satisfy horizontal clearance requirements. With MXRAIL, provided
the survey includes the structure, you can measure horizontal offsets to line-side
structures at any time during the design process using the standard MX Options.

Track Design - Overview

Track Design forms the main component of MXRAIL. MXRAIL is used for the design of
railway alignments, light railway alignments, and junction layouts. It enables you to
design three-dimensional alignments representing plain line track, simple turnouts,
diamond crossings, crossovers and complex multi-lead layouts.
MXRAIL is accessed from the Design -> Track Design menu or the MXRAIL toolbar.

The MXRAIL toolbar is invoked from the Applications toolbar.

Click a subject below for further information:

Survey Analysis - establishes the existing track geometry from the survey data, and also
ensures that surveyed rails are continuous and complete.

Hallade Design - imports and exports versine survey data.

Horizontal Design - enables you to design horizontal track alignments, including


transitionsd.

Vertical Design - enables you to design vertical alignments.

Cant Design - applies cant to tracks.

Ballast Design - designs and optimises ballast quantities.

Switches and Crossings - for the design of complex switch and crossing layouts.

Long Sections - for the creation of long sections.

System Management - change MXRAIL attributes and parameters as required.

Used in conjunction with MXSITE, the MXRAIL package allows you to integrate the
design of railway associated developments, such as depots or freight terminals.

Used in conjunction with MXROAD, railways can be interfaced with highway schemes
or street-running light railways.

In addition the following options can be quickly accessed directly from the toolbar:

Explorer

Dynamic Reports

Analysis:

Surface Checker

Surface Analysis
Sections:

Long Sections

Create or View Cross Sections

Visualise:

Drive Thru

3D Model View
Horizontal Design

Having imported, analysed and checked the survey data, you are now ready to commence
your design. This normally starts with constructing key plain line elements in plan.
Within MXRAIL, these lengths of plain line are referred to as tracks. A track consists of
a centre line and two offset strings representing the running edges of the rails.

This tutorial assumes that you have completed Tutorial 2.

When designing track horizontally, you normally observe the following sequence of
options:

Horizontal Dynamic Regression - to analyse any existing track to determine the


horizontal geometry at critical locations.

Horizontal Design - to create or modify horizontal track alignments and tie them into any
previously designed Switch and Crossing assembly.

Slew Analysis - to check and minimise slews.

Place S and C - to place a Switch and Crossing Assembly, such as a turnout or diamond
crossing, into your track layout.

Place Crossings - to allow MXRAIL to automatically determine the best position for the
crossing in a Switch and Crossing assembly.

Horizontal Dynamic Regression

When designing horizontal track alignments, the design normally has to tie in to an
existing alignment at some point. For schemes involving new track construction, this may
occur only at a few locations. When modifying existing tracks, your design may be
highly dependent on where the existing track is at present. This is particularly true for
maintenance designs. The principal reasons for knowing where the existing track is in
plan are:

• to minimise slewing
• to tie your design into an existing alignment
• to avoid disturbing track that already meets your design criteria.

MXRAIL provides a simple tool for analysing existing rails to determine existing
horizontal track elements. This tool is known as Dynamic Horizontal Regression.

Analysing the existing track in this way is a valuable basis for starting your horizontal
track design. You can use this tool at any time as your design develops whenever you
need to know more about the existing track alignment.
To see how to use the Horizontal Regression option more clearly, you will produce a new
drawing and then redisplay just the existing rails from the survey.

Select File -> New Plan Display.

Type regression as the working display file name.

Click OK.

A new (blank) working display is created and you can now display the rails.

Select Display -> Plan With Style Set.

Ensure that the model is set to SURVEY.

Instead of All features, select MXRAIL Existing Rails as the features to be displayed.

Click OK.

The existing rails are displayed.

From Design -> Track Design -> Survey Analysis, select Horizontal Dynamic
Regression.

The Horizontal Dynamic Regression panel is displayed.

During horizontal regression, one rail is analysed at a time and the offset parameter is
used to define the gauge and the direction of the resultant centre line and other rail.

Select SURVEY as the model name.

Select the left hand rail, RD02, as the regression string.

Ensure the Scale Factor for Slew Trace is set to 100.0.

Ensure that the Offset for Resulting Element, in this case, the centre line, is set to
0.716 (the half-gauge width).
Note that this can also be used to design sidings offset from existing tracks.

Click the right arrow button to indicate that the offset is to the right.

Click the Cant/Curve tab.

Select RD02 as the Left Rail.

Select R002 as the Right Rail.

Leave the start and end point blank so that the analysis is performed on the whole
string.

Ensure that the Level Difference Scale Factor is set to 100.0.

Ensure that the Curve Scale Factor is set to 100.0.

Ensure that the Point Interval is set to 10.0.

Click Calculate Cant Curve .

MXRAIL now analyses the selected rail and displays the level difference and curvature

lines for the track .

How to interpret the curvature line

The closer the red line is to the centre line, the straighter the existing track at that point.
Where the red line is to the right of the centre line, the track curves to the left; where it is
to the left of the centre line, the track curves to the right. In addition, the smoother the
line, the smoother the change in radius along the centre line.

How to interpret the level difference line

The closer the brown level difference line is to the centre line, the less the level
difference between the two rails. If the line runs along the route of the centre line, the
track is flat; if it is to the outside of a curve, the outside rail is raised and the further away
from the centre line the line is, the greater the level difference. If the line is to the inside
of the curve, the inside rail is higher and so further investigation may be required.
Creating a regression element

You will now see how to create regression elements from which you can design the new
centre line.

From the Dynamic Horizontal Regression panel, click the Regression tab.

Set Desired Slew Trace to 0.05.

Set Absolute Max Slew Trace to 0.1.

Click the Create a Fixed Curve Specifying Three Points icon .

Click in the Start Point field and select the first point on the left hand rail (point
number 1).

Click in the End Point field and select the last point on the left hand rail (point
number 33).

The regression and slew analysis is shown on the display as a group of coloured lines

By default, these are:

Cyan - slew trace


Orange - new best fit line for existing rail
Yellow - centre line offset from best fit line
Blue - desired slew trace distance
Pale Blue - absolute maximum slew trace distance

You can click the Line Colour tab at any time and hide the lines you are not
interested in by unchecking the appropriate box.

The displayed offsets show the distance from the existing rail to the three points on
the new best fit line.

The slew trace shows the fit of the existing rail relative to the new rail. For example, if
the slew trace is to the left of the rail, the existing rail lies to the left of the new rail. The
greater the offset is, the further away the slew trace is drawn from the rail. Where the
slew trace crosses the rail, the existing and new rails are coincident.
So, if the cyan line remains within the blue corridor, the resultant element falls within the
desired parameters.

If it goes outside of the pale blue line, then the resultant element fails to meet the absolute
maximum design parameters and so a refinement of the analysis is required.

In this case, you have used the start and end points of the string for the analysis distance.
By adjusting the start and end points to create a shorter element, you can ensure that the
element will fall within the desired parameters. You can then repeat the process to create
another element further along the string.

To change the element length, click in the End Point field, then drag the final point
marker until the marker is at point number 13.

In the AutoCAD environment, ensure that you are in MX command mode by


clicking the AutoCAD/MX toggle box beneath the graphics area.

Notice how the slew trace rapidly contracts to fit within the blue corridor, and so

conforms to the design parameters .

The radius is shown on the right of the panel as 364.374 .

You now need to ensure that the new element ties in with the existing rail.

Click in the Offset field of the start point, and type 0. Notice how the radius of the
curve changes to accommodate the change in offset.

In your own projects, remember that if a new alignment is to tie into an existing
alignment at a particular position then you should perform regression analysis at that
position so that the resultant element coincides with the existing alignment over a short
distance. This ensures that the slew, direction and curvature of the new alignment blends
smoothly into the existing alignment at that point.

You are now ready to design an arc alignment element from the regression element you
have created.

Creating the new track

You now need to design an alignment element to match the best fit line, in this case, a
fixed arc element.
From the Dynamic Horizontal Regression panel, click the MXRAIL Horizontal

Design icon .

The Create or Modify Track panel is displayed.

In the Track Model field, type a new model called TRACK, click on the background
of the panel and then click Yes to confirm the creation of the model when prompted. Note
that the Track Name string (MC01) is entered automatically.

Ensure that Full Horizontal Alignment Design is selected.

Ensure the Alignment Tools box is unchecked.

Click in the Track Model Description field and type New Track Model.

Click in the Track Name field and type Tutorial Track.

Click Next.

Click OK to assign the default feature and style set.

The Horizontal Design panel appears allowing you to choose a design method and to
modify display and design parameters. For this tutorial, you can use the default values.

Ensure that the design method is set to Element and then click Next.

The Element Alignment panel is displayed.

To obtain a tooltip showing the function of each icon, move the cursor over the icon.

Fixed Arc

Select Fixed Arc, followed by 3 Points.

From the Horizontal Dynamic Regression panel, click the Create Element icon .
The coordinates from the best fit line are now transferred to the Alignment panel.

Click OK after each coordinate pair has been transferred.

Click Next to create the arc element. The arc element is drawn in yellow.

Fixed Straight

You can now perform another regression analysis on the straight section of track.

From the Dynamic Horizontal Regression panel, click the Create a Fixed Straight

Specifying Two Points icon .

Click in End Point and drag the end point marker to point number 33 (the last point).

Click in Start Point and drag the start point marker to point 25.

The regression and slew analysis for the straight section of track is shown on the display.

You can now create the equivalent straight element in Alignment.

Select Fix Straight, followed by 2 Points.

From the Horizontal Dynamic Regression panel, click the Create Element icon.

The coordinates from the best fit line are now transferred to the Alignment panel.

Click Next to create the straight element. The straight element is drawn in yellow.

Fix to Fix

You now need to join the two elements together.

From the Element Alignment panel, select Special Geometry.

Select Fix to Fix.

Select the arc element (A001) as the preceding element.


Select the straight element (A002) as the following element.

Click Next, and then click Accept on the Alignment Review panel to confirm creation.

Select End This Alignment, then click Next on the Define Chainage Datum panel.

Two rails and a centreline should now be drawn .

Click Cancel from the Dynamic Horizontal Regression panel. The regression
analysis is removed from the display.

Slew Analysis Option

Slew analysis allows you to test the fit of the new rails against the existing rails. Before
doing so, you need to re-display the original drawing and display the new track.

Select File -> Open Display/Drawing and then select draw.dpw from the Open
panel. Click Open.

The survey is redisplayed.

Select Display -> Plan with Style Set.

Ensure that the model is set to TRACK and click OK.

The track is drawn on the survey.

To generate a slew diagram:

From Design -> Track Design -> Horizontal Design, select Slew Analysis.

The Slew Analysis panel is displayed.

Ensure the track model is set to TRACK.

Select the new centre line MC01 as the track.

Ensure the survey model is set to SURVEY.


Select the left rail RD02 as the survey line.

Click the Parameters tab.

To the right of the Offset to Rail field, there are two arrow buttons, the right hand one
highlit in red. Click the left arrow to indicate an offset to the left (the symbol on the
button turns red).

Ensure the required output method is set to Drawing Output, then click Apply.

MXRAIL now generates the slew diagram and overlays it on your alignment. The

exaggerated slew line should look something like that shown . The line shows the fit
of the existing track relative to the new track. For example, if the slew line is to the left of
the rail, the existing rail lies to the left of the new rail. The greater the offset is, the further
away the slew line is drawn from the rail. Where the slew line crosses the rail, the
existing and new rails are coincident.

In this case, the slew on the fix-to-fix element between the arc and straight is quite large.
In a real project, you would need to create a third element to minimise this slew.

Click Cancel to dismiss the Slew Analysis panel.

Placing a turnout

Having designed your track in plan, you now need to add a turnout.

From Design -> Track Design -> Switches and Crossings, select Place S and C.

The MXRAIL: Place S and C panel is displayed.

Double-click the Public Styles cabinet, then double-click the MXRAIL folder.

All the subfolders of MXRAIL are now available as MXRAIL libraries.

Ensure that the Show Switches icon is selected.

Open the folder Tutorial Library to reveal the turnouts in the right hand pane.

In the Model Name field at the top of the panel, select the model TRACK.
Select the turnout Tutorial Turnout 1 from the right hand pane.

Click the Placement tab.

A schematic diagram of the turnout you have selected is shown in the right hand pane.
You can modify various dimensions on the turnout and specify a different hook point, but
for this tutorial, the default values are fine.

Select the Leading Right turnout icon at the top of the panel.

Select the string MC01 as the track centre line.

In the XY field, click the right mouse button and change the Point Selection Method
(PSM) to Point.

Select point number 184 which is at the start of the straight part of the centre line

MC01 (just after the tangent point) . Use tooltips to help you do this.

Click the Place Selected Turnout icon to place the turnout at the specified point.

Click Yes to accept the S and C item when prompted. The turnout is drawn according

to the style set assigned to the design model.

You can also use drag and drop to place turnouts and crossings from this panel.

Click Close (the cross in the top right corner) to dismiss the panel.